Finding the Silver Lining

BY IN Child Sexual Abuse 2 COMMENTS , , , , , , ,

Stop It Now! Joe Paterno

I never imagined I’d be talking about these two titles in the same post. Stop It Now! is a nonprofit group whose mission is to educate others on preventing child sexual abuse. I’ve referred to them many times over the years as one of the most informative and helpful groups for parents, teachers, and anyone concerned about the safety of children.

When the Penn State story broke, accusing and later convicting Jerry Sandusky of sexually abusing young boys, Joe Paterno became a target of my anger as well. Although denying any knowledge, its very likely he knew of the abuse and turned a blind eye.

How Can We Find a Silver Lining?

This week I read an article in that confirmed my belief that we can take the worst situations and make something good of them. The article reported that after reading Joe Paterno’s words, “Maybe the silver lining in this is that some good can come of this,” written days before his death, Sue Paterno, his wife, was inspired to begin a movement to prevent child sexual abuse on college campuses.

Circle of Hands

Circles of Safety ©

Paterno combined forces with Stop It Now! and helped fund a pilot program, “Circles of Safety for Higher Education,” aimed at training participants to recognize warning signs and develop skills to deal with potential cases of abuse. The program will be piloted in 14 schools but Paterno stated she doesn’t want it to stop there.

What Sandusky did is unforgivable. If Joe Paterno did have knowledge of the abuse, his inaction is as grievous. And most important, the emotional pain those young boys endured can’t be erased.

What Can You Do To Help?children_portrait_closeup_80088_m

Breaking the silence, having public conversations about abuse, and gaining knowledge on prevention are the steps we need to take to put an end to child sexual abuse. I have applauded and continue to hail Stop it Now! for their extraordinary efforts. Today I applaud Sue Paterno for taking something so horrific and doing some good.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Make it your priority to do something to help protect children. Educate yourself on the warning signs in adults, symptoms in children, and how you can help prevent abuse. Stop It Now!‘s website is a great place to begin. The Help & Guidance page includes an Advice Column and FAQ page, answering the most commonly asked questions about child sexual abuse prevention. You can also help, if you wish, by making a donation to Stop it Now!

Together we can create a silver lining!  Roberta


  1. Carole Bumpus |

    An admirable endeavor!! And an important step to opening and continuing the conversations about child sexual abuse!! Silence kills the soul of those abused!! Speak out and continue to speak out!! And shed light on those abusers,

  2. Colleen Haggerty |

    Thanks for this important post, Roberta. It reminds me of a training I took – Stewards of Children – Darkness to Light, which taught people the importance of speaking up against child abuse. It’s an epidemic in our country and our silence perpetuates it. Stopping child abuse is a community effort.